In this day and age, you may be reading and hearing more about solar energy projects and how they can provide economic benefits to you and your family all while helping the environment. But before you jump right into the mix, there are many things to consider when choosing the right solar development company.
Before you start
When deciding whether or not to allow utility-scale solar development on your land, you should consider the following: Are you ready to re-purpose your land? How much land are you willing to re-purpose for a long-term utility-scale solar development process? What is motivating you to consider solar on your land?
Are you looking for long-term steady income? Do you want supplemental income and keep your land in the family for future generations? Are you ready to retire from working these lands? Is the surface of your land not generating enough steady revenue to provide for your future years? Are you looking for ways to stimulate the local economy with jobs and other economic benefits like increased tax income for the community?
If any of these appeal to you, then having a utility-scale solar project on your land is for you. The next step is choosing the best solar developer who you can partner with to make the right decision for you and your family.
The right stuff
When choosing the right solar developer, one must weigh many options and be aware that not all developers are alike. Sure, there are some similarities, but the differences can determine if your land will get developed, what you will have to do during the development process, will the developer communicate with you on a timely basis, do they have your best interest at heart, and are they looking for a win/win outcome.
Besides the economics of the deal, the relationship and trustworthiness of the company and their associates are extremely important.
As with anything, first impressions count. How you are initially contacted by a solar development company says a lot about the kind of values they have and how they will treat you after the contract is signed. Are they immediately throwing out legal jargon or not listening to you? Do they actually know the characteristics of your land or are they cold calling you without having done any homework to know if your land is even suitable for utility-scale solar development?
Find a developer who understands your needs and concerns you may have, which could be many. A good solar developer will walk you through the solar development process – every step of the way. They will recognize that there are never too many questions.
Look for a solar developer who will respect you and not shy away from answering any of your questions. Don’t hold back on your questions either. Feel free to ask about project logistics like: Who’s going to buy the power? What is battery storage? How do the panels work? Are they noisy? Will they harm the wildlife or affect the landscape? Also, you want someone who respects your land and understands that while they may be leasing it, it is still yours.
Not their first rodeo
As solar energy becomes more popular, solar development companies seem to be coming out of the woodwork. It can get daunting trying to know who to trust with your land and livelihood. This is when experience matters.
You want a developer who can assess if your land is best for solar development based on access to transmission lines, interconnection queue, topography, solar production, and the future impact on the land and the community at large.
Having a solar development company with in-house expertise, that can navigate through the permitting process, secure mineral rights, can work around a sophisticated piping system (if your land is being used for pipelines), complete the engineering due diligence, and understands construction and operation of a solar project, is key to a successful project.
Make sure the solar developer is not asking you to contribute financially or do any of the permitting or due diligence yourself. An experienced solar developer should be handling 100 percent of this work.
Has the company and the team successfully developed a project that is operational? You would be surprised that there are many who have talked about it but haven’t actually walked the walk. Look for companies that have a team of industry experts and several projects and megawatts under their belt.
When it’s time, decide what’s best for you. Talk to the solar developers, research the company, reach out to other landowners who have worked with these folks, and ask yourself if the solar development company:
- Is knowledgeable
- Keeps the process going while performing due diligence
- Answers your questions in a timely manner
- Respects your land
- Looks for a win-win solution
If you want to learn more about 7X Energy, please go here.